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Mar 8, 2009 03:13 PM

Mashed vs. smashed potatoes

Difference, or just marketing-speak?

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  1. I think it's marketing-speak. One and the same.

    1. My understanding is that mashed potatoes are smooth and smashed are left with chunks of potato--not lumpy, but just lightly mashed.

      2 Replies
        1. re: diablo

          I totally agreed, smashed can or cannot have skin but lightly smashed, hench the name, no silky smooth like mashed or the mashed we have all come to love.

        2. I've seen "smashed potatoes" that are small boiled potatoes that are flattened and oiled and either roasted or pan fried until browned and crisp.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chococat

            This is my understanding, too, chococat. When I make smashed potatoes, I use small, red potatoes and literally smash them a few times with my rolling pin, skin on, then dress with olive oil (usually, but butter sometimes), s&p, and whatever other spices / herbs I want to use. Roasting after smashing is optional. The individual potatoes are identifiable as distinct entities.

            I'm fine with calling lumpy mashed potatoes with skin on "country style" or something like that. The big distinction for me is whether individual potatoes are identifiable as such or whether they have been mashed into a collective mashed potato pool.

          2. "Mashed" potatoes are smoothly whipped with cream, butter, etc.
            "Smashed" potatoes, popularized (but not invented by) by Rachael Ray, are more "rustic" or "textured" - with pieces of chunk potato as well as smooth bits. There's still butter or whatever but again it's not smoothly incorporated; there may be pieces of butter or dollops of sour cream.

            2 Replies
            1. re: KiltedCook

              That sounds like "stomped potatoes" or "crushed potatoes". Lazy Man's Mashed Potatoes?

              1. re: Scargod

                Yeah, you are better at marketing than whoever tried to call smashed potatoes lumpy mashed potatoes! I prefer all your names. Or why not just call them "Rustic" Mashed Potatoes since we have to use words like that to explain what "Smashed" potatoes are anyway!

            2. I vote for marketing-speak. After about the first 100 or so times I heard "smashed" it was just too precious for me. MY mashed potatoes have lumps and peels on them (sheesh, sounds like me!)

              12 Replies
              1. re: c oliver

                That's my feeling as well. Mashed potatoes used to be "chunky" or "smooth" -- it sounds like some menu consultant started using "smashed" 'cause it sounded good, and then people started attributing a distinct meaning to the term. "Mashed" potatoes are not "whipped" -- they're mashed. Potatoes that are whipped are "whipped potatoes."

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

                  We have a winner.


                  1. re: Davwud

                    Well, I think Ruth and I are in the minority here but better a winner than a weinie!

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Maybe a minority but clearly we know better!!



                      1. re: c oliver

                        Me, whether it is smashed, mashed or whipped. Who cares really... I just enjoy good potatoes. If we like them smashed great, mashed ok and whipped (never saw that on a menu) however, it doesn't bother me. I love potatoes. I call my mashed whipped am I wrong. They look and taste almost the same. Does it really matter what marketing and society calls them.

                        Thinking of names - blue jeans or jeans or dungarees, or Levis (yes a brand name) but we still think of Levis as just plain JEANS. So what is the difference ... they are still all jeans aren't they, different types and styles like potatoes, but all good ... and basically all just society and marketing names but overall just a jean ... just like a potato ... they are all potatoes.

                        1. re: kchurchill5

                          No, WE don't think of Levi's as "just plain JEANS." My husband retired from Levi Strauss and the company has always worked to keep the brand name from becoming synonymous with jeans. Unlike Kleenex, Pampers, etc. A little known bit of insider info :)

                          1. re: kchurchill5

                            Dang woman! Potatoes all alike? There's red ones and brown ones and yeller ones and purple ones and green ones. There's big 'uns and little teeny tiny ones and everthin' in-tween.They even taste differn't too.

                            1. re: Scargod

                              Well you know what I mean, a bit different taste, but gotta love potatoes. And .. If whipped, creamy mashed or smashed (the same type) They are all good. I guess if I ordered mashed and got whipped I wouldn't be upset. If ordered mashed and got smashed I wouldn't be upset. Not baked, roasted, au gratin, ect is all difference, but If they call their mashed ... smashed or mashed or whipped. That is fine with me. To me those are all similar and it is still a potato which I love. It is creamy with some seasoning, milk or sour cream and flavorful, so whatever they call them is fine with me

                              I just usually asked how they are made, do they have the skin on? Are they smooth or more or a lump style. That way I know what to expect.

                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                Really, there are a lot of things like this, kchurchill! In Italy, a pizza is a pizza is a pizza - and they are all the same with a very few options in toppings. And a cappuccino in Italy, you know what you're getting. But here? Pizza could be pizza...or could be pizza plus all kinds of crazy non-Italy approved toppings, or heck could be on an english muffin! And cappuccino in Italy always the same - huge variations!

                                (Don't get me wrong, I'm sure still even with the same ingredients/proportions, etc, there is better and worse in every cafe in Italy, I'm just saying - you won't be very surprised.)

                                So, yeah, let's all just ask the server! Love your sense, kchurchill.

                                1. re: alegramarcel

                                  You may want to note that this thread is several years old and not everyone is still posting.

                                  I also didn't know that all pizzas in Italy are alike. Could you expound on this please?